I was born and raised in a Pentecostal family. My grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher for over 50 years. I was always taught that only those “chosen” or “called” by God could enter the ministry. So at age 12, when I was told I was being called into the ministry, I began preaching and taught the “Jesus Only” doctrine of the United Pentecostal Church for 18 years.
Realizing Pentecostal Doctrine was False
It was on a Thursday night in October 1984 when I realized that everything I had been teaching for 18 years as a Pentecostal preacher had been false doctrine. I was invited to a gospel meeting at a church of Christ, which I had never attended before. What was preached that night was what I had secretly believed all my adult life—that one did not have to come to an altar or plead for mercy to receive forgiveness. One simply had to hear the word, believe, repent, confess Christ, and be baptized. I was baptized the following Sunday, becoming a “born-again Christian” for the first time in my life.
Understanding Biblical Faithfulness
It wasn’t until 1987, when I met Louis Sharp, that I truly understood what faithfulness to God’s word means. As we studied, I realized the Lord had worked for me as a Christian to do. I then began preaching the true gospel of Christ, which has now become my life’s purpose.
Flaws in Pentecostal Doctrine and Practice
There were several flaws I came to see in Pentecostal doctrine and practice:
No Biblical Basis for the Movement
- Pentecostalism traces itself back only to 1899, unlike the Lord’s Church, which began at Pentecost in 33 AD
- Pentecostals claim new revelations from God, but the Bible says no new revelations are needed (2 Tim 3:16–17)
Erroneous Holy Spirit Views
- They say the power of the Spirit fell first on the 120 in the upper room, but Acts shows it falling first only on the 12 disciples
- They believe power is received today due to a “new revelation” in 1899, but the Bible does not support this
Faulty Salvational Understanding
- Pentecostals teach one must speak in tongues as evidence of salvation, but the Bible does not teach this
Unbiblical Spiritual Gifts Claims
- They claim miracles like healings happen daily through the Spirit, but I never saw this occur in my 18 years as a Pentecostal
- The Bible shows apostolic gifts like tongues and healings ended after the first century
Wrong Roles for Women
- Pentecostals allow women to preach, lead prayer, and teach men, contradicting plain biblical teaching
Addition of Instrumental Music
- Pentecostals use instruments to “glorify” God in worship, but Jesus said true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth according to God’s word (John 4:24)
The Centrality of God’s Word
I realized that true faith means fully trusting and obeying God’s word. When we elevate subjective spiritual experiences or man’s opinions over scripture, we reject God and believe in a lie. We must read, study, and follow the Bible’s patterns without altering anything based on our desires. I left the Pentecostals because they rejected the all-sufficient truth of God’s word.
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